horizontal banner with Preserve America logo and images of a historic downtown, farm, courthouse, and mountain

Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

The seal of the President of the United StatesAdvisory Council on Historic Preservation logoU.S. Department of the Interior sealU.S. Department of Commerce seal
U.S. Department of Agriculture logo
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development logo





New Mexico and Colorado

Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Volunteer Program

Friends of Jerusalem Mill

In 1970, the states of Colorado and New Mexico jointly purchased 64 miles of the Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge railroad between Antonito, Colorado, and Chama, New Mexico, for operation as a scenic railway. Running through stunning mountain scenery, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad also is an important historic resource that was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2012. The non-profit Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was incorporated in 1988 to promote the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of the railroad as a living museum.

The Friends conduct six week-long work sessions each year involving hundreds of volunteers. Typical work includes rail car restoration and painting, stabilization and restoration of historic structures along the line, general property cleanup, and interpretive projects. In the summer of 2012, volunteers contributed 14,000 hours of work.

Interpretive work by the Friends helps visitors appreciate the historic importance of the railroad. Tens of thousands of brochures on the self-guided walking tours of the railroad yards (in both English and Spanish) have been distributed, and volunteers provide historical interpretation and information to passengers riding the trains.

For more information:
Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Updated on March 11, 2013

Return to Top